raising livestock

Studio portrait of four Jewish children in Chechersk, Belarus.

Pictured are Maria, Leva, Fanya and Ester Gerchikova.

Maria Maymina (born Maria Minya Gerchikova) is the daughter of Zorach and Dvera Gerchikova. She was born November 15, 1925 in Chechersk, Belarus, where her father worked as a tailor, but also raised livestock and had an orchard and vegetable garden. Maria had five siblings: Ester (Phira), Feiga-Riva (Fanya), Sonia, Eshka (Asya) and Leva. Her paternal grandmother Roch-Leya lived with them, and many relatives lived nearby. The family led a traditional Jewish life, and when the Soviets outlawed religious practice in 1938, they continued to observe many religious rituals secretly, including praying in private homes and baking matzahs for Passover. Maria attended a Yiddish language school for several years, until she was required to attend a Russian school. During a German bombing raid on the town at the beginning of the June 1941 invasion, Maria was wounded and her home was destroyed. By this time, her father and uncles had been drafted into the Soviet army, and the rest of the family now fled to a neighboring village. Maria and her family returned to Chechersk in August and lived in a bomb shelter that belonged to a relative. As German troops approached their town, the family (including many extended family members) fled once again. At first they were able to travel in a horse-drawn wagon, but eventually had to go on foot when the horse could no longer pull everyone. Along the way, German soldiers encircled a group of refugee wagons and shot all those inside. Among those killed was Maria’s five-year-old cousin Klara. At first Maria and her family traveled primarily on paved roads, but as German troops got closer they continued their trek at night through the forests. At times, retreating Russian troops gave them provisions. Otherwise, they foraged in the woods or begged food from villagers. After about a month, they arrived in Kursk. They stayed in a refugee shelter for a week, before boarding a freight train to Uzbekistan. Not permitted to settle in a large town, they went to live on a collective farm, called Pachtacor, outside of Penza. Though the Uzbeki farm workers were paid in groceries, the Jewish refugees were given only one flatcake a day. Maria’s grandmother and two of her sisters soon died of malnutrition. Eventually, the family was granted permission to move to the town of Fergana, where Maria got work in a textile factory spinning yarn. Some time in 1942, they learned that Maria’s father, Zorach, had been killed in action near Kiev. After receiving permission to learn accounting, Maria became the factory bookkeeper and later, the director’s personal secretary. The family’s living conditions slowly improved. They were allowed to live in a room at the factory and received more food and clothing. In 1944 they learned that Chechersk had been liberated, and they decided to return home. During the trip home, all of their belongings were stolen. Since their own home in Chechersk had been destroyed, they stayed in the ruins of their aunt’s house. At that time, they learned that the Jews who had remained in Chechersk had been shot shortly after the Gerchikovas had fled. Maria and her mother eventually found work. They also received a cow from the government as compensation for fact that Zorach had been killed in action. In January 1946, Maria married Gregory Isaakovich Maymin and moved to Bobruisk. She returned to school in 1952 and eventually became a math teacher. In 1992 she immigrated to the United States.

anonymous asked:

You can be vegan all you want, good for you, but not being vegan doesn't make someone a bad person. Not everyone in the world will convert to being a vegan so maybe y'all should stop being angry people and just get over it.

Of course the whole world will never be vegan, but I strongly believe that someday a majority of the world will be vegan. In fact, the world will have to go mostly vegan or we are screwed, anon. Veganism is the future, out of necessity, and the UN agrees.

Animal agriculture is destroying our world. 

No, not being vegan does not make someone a bad person… but if you’re aware of the slaughter you’re contributing to and you’re able to change that and choose not to, that is extremely problematic. Especially if you mourn the deaths of companion animals, but not the ones on your plate. 

Omnis: Veganism is white imperialism/classist/ableist because food prices, poor people can’t afford it, not everyone can be vegan and you don’t even care about the exploited immigrants working in fields!

Also Omnis: *Ignoring the indigenous people in the Amazon who lose their fucking home because of meat consumption. Ignoring all the people starving in West African countries because they can barely catch fish anymore thanks to the huge ass factory ships from China/Europe etc that empty the oceans. Ignoring all the indigenous people dependent on clean water, when raising livestock is the number one polluter of water. And of course ignoring the exploited immigrants and working poor with no alternatives working in slaughterhouses, one of the most dangerous jobs in the western world. Many losing body parts and, because they’re often illegal immigrants, wont get any form of health support once ending up disabled.*

I hate when farmers say that they “love their animals”. The only reason farmers keep livestock in the first place is because they want to profit off of what the animals produce; milk, eggs, etc. They wouldn’t raise livestock if this wasn’t the case; livestock require a lot of land, feed, and money to care for. As soon as that animal is depleted, off they go to slaughter.

Only caring for your animals when they benefit you is not love, it’s control. True love is always unconditional, and sending an animal to die after they’re done being your tools is an act of betrayal and selfishness.

How much land do you really need to be self sufficient?

With a world food crisis, drought and civil unrest over escalating food prices, around the world, we all have concerns about food security and the ability to feed our own families.  An info-graphic is circulating the internet that tells us that we need a full 2 acres to be self sufficient in food on a omnivore diet, implying less land if one is vegan.  The problem with a graphic like this is that it discourages experimentation, and assumes a one-size-fits all family eating style.  It uses yield estimates taken from mono-cultural commercial agriculture and imposes them on the homestead.  This discourages people who want to attempt to be self sufficient and live a more sustainable life.  2 acres is a substantial investment in a highly productive agricultural belt or near an urban area. And this info-graphic assumes highly productive land — expensive land.

So is 2 acres a reasonable estimate?  That depends where you live and what you mean by “self-sufficiency”.  When Canada was being divided up in homesteading grids — it was assumed that on the Prairies an average family would need a section of land (over 1,000 acres) to be self-sufficient.  In those days, self-sufficient meant to survive to the next year, without grocery stores to fall back on.  In Ontario and B.C. the amount of land necessary to feed and cloth a family was considered a ¼ section — 160 acres.  That area provided water, food, energy, and a livelihood.  Along the St. Laurence and in the Maritimes the amount of land needed was less — due to the proximity of fishing and water.  The closer one is to fresh water, whether a stream or through rainfall, the less land that is necessary to sustain  a family.

Those in the North or at higher elevations need more land to be self-sufficient.  Its hard to grow food — other than livestock and hay — in a growing season that’s shortened by intermittent summer frost.  But it can be done.  Land in these areas is cheaper, too.  You will need 5 to 15 acres to be productive in a Northern area and you will have more land dedicated to raising livestock and hay and less land dedicated to vegetables and fruit.

How much land do you need?

So what’s a reasonable estimate for how much land you really need to sustain your family?

Skip the 2,000 square foot house.  Its unnecessary.  A smaller footprint that builds upward  is a better use of space, and is easier to heat and clean.  Solar panels?  Possibly if you are far enough south and have a good exposure.   Wind? Micro-hydro?  Methane?  Wood?  All are possibilities to explore for energy efficiency.  Each property has to be assessed individually.  There is no one-size-fits-all solution — except the grid.  Cut the house footprint in half.

Livestock?  Skip the pigs — they produce only meat and take up valuable space.  Skip the corn unless you live in the South, where your summer has the heat value to ripen corn easily.  The livestock doesn’t need it and its low on food value — 2 goats and 5 chickens can live on garden surplus, grass and weeds.  5 chickens will feed a family 2 dozen eggs a week in the peak laying season.  They don’t need their own dedicated space.  Put them in a movable chicken tractor and let them till the garden, eating bugs and weeds.  Move them every morning during the growing season and it will improve your soil quality, too.

Goats can be housed in a shed near the house, a lean to onto the house or even the back of the garage.  They only need a small bedding area and can be taken for walks in the hedgerows of your neighbourhood to feed on browse.  They can be given a loafing area or be tethered in different spots around the yard to help keep down weeds.  Protect them from stray dogs and predators and they will give you 8 to 10 years of the highest quality raw milk for drinking, cheese, yogourt and ice-cream.  They can be fed with garden waste.  Or share your field peas and produce with them, in exchange for their milk.  Their manure will increase the fertility of the garden space.  2 full size dairy goats will give your family a gallon of milk a day and 3 kids for 90 lbs. of meat every fall. Live in an urban area? Invest in Nigerian Dwarf goats and half the production rates, as well as the food inputs.

Instead of corn in cooler regions, grow potatoes.  They offer more calories and can be grown in more climates and take up less space.  You can follow a crop of potatoes with kale for a longer harvest season, even in a colder climate.

Don’t forget the orchard

Fruit and nut trees are a must. Nut trees take a while to mature but the increase in protein is beneficial to you, and your livestock — plant them if you have the space.  Dwarf fruit trees will grow on a 6 foot centre and can be trellised along a fence to increase yields per space. If space is at a premium, do consider trellising them — planting 6 feet apart in a one foot wide row.  One dwarf tree will yield 75 lbs. of fruit, once it is mature.  10 trees trellised along a fence with a Southern exposure, blossom sooner in spring and have an extended growing season, and will give you enough fruit for a family for jamming, canning and preserving.

Berries and small fruits take up little space and can offer high vitamins and antioxidants to your diet.  If wild roses and wild strawberries grow in your area than other berries will as well.

Sunflowers are an annual crop that provide an increase in protein for your diet, and can grow on the borders of the garden, taking up very little space.

Raised beds for vegetables

Vegetables, grown in raised beds or containers, give high yields and can be rotated for 3 season gardening — greens from spinach to lettuce to kale can rotate through the growing season to keep your plate full for daily salads and vegetables.  We grow all the greens we need in about 20 square feet this way.  Other vegetables, like cabbage, beans, carrots and beets, need a full growing season but can be inter-cropped with flowers and herbs to feed bees, and provide medicinal plants for the family first aid kit.  With raised bed gardening you could cut down the vegetable area square footage by ½ to 2/3rds   Add a greenhouse and train vines to grow up instead of out and you can increase the growing season and the yields in the available space.

Community is essential

This chart fails to take into account the sharing that inevitably happens between gardeners — zucchinis, squash, lettuces and other prolific growers provide a bountiful harvest that many families can share, at the peak of the growing season.

Rabbits?  Chickens? Ducks?

Put in some rabbit hutches – Each rabbit needs 2 feet by 3 ft. space.  You can give them a grass run and build rabbit condos that offer them a wonderful, natural lifestyle.   3 female french angora rabbits and 1 male will provide your family with a meal of rabbit meat once a week and enough angora to keep your family in mittens and hats for the winter.  They will eat your garden surplus, and grass hay.  In Europe, during WWII, families with back yard rabbits would make hay by harvesting the grass from vacant lots and roadsides all summer.  And they make affectionate pets, too.  Are we eating our pets? No, as a farmer you make pets out of the breeding animals and give the best possible life and respect to the young that end up on your plate.

You don’t need meat every day, but you do need high quality protein every day and this kind of gardening will give you that.

Consider planting field peas for increased protein.  Field peas increase the fertility of the soil and the crop is ready to harvest in August when the ground can be cleared and a second crop can be planted of either peas or a winter vegetables.  The straw from peas is relished by goats and rabbits.


Consider the addition of an aquaponics greenhouse in the vegetable growing area.  This will yield fish fertilizer, vegetables, and fish for a well rounded diet for you and your garden — along with year round vegetables.  Add a methane digester and you can supply some of your own energy needs as well.  If you can grow meat and vegetables year round, you reduce your dependence on a freezer, which lowers your electrical needs.

My estimate is that in a highly productive area with adequate rainfall, the average family could raise all their food needs on 1 acre of land.  Many did just this during WWII with just a large city lot, by walking their goats and moving their chickens around the vegetable garden.  The key to making this work is to eat what you can grow in your climate — using heritage seeds that are adapted to your growing conditions. With more land — 5 acres — you can move from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture and begin to make some money from your productivity.

If you have more land, grow more food and expand your self sufficiency. But if you only have a balcony in a city apartment, grow where you are planted.  And start in a small way to be more sufficient now.  On the Joybilee Farm Facebook Page, I post periodic links to urban agricultural projects to inspire your urban efforts for self sufficiency.

One of my favorite resources for urban farm is the Urban Farm Guys. Their videos are practical step-by-step guidelines to help you harvest more food from a small amount of land. –joybileefarm.com

anonymous asked:

I hear the term "weights" often in heathen circles. I know little more than that they are land-spirits. I would like to learn more about them and how they were honored and their place in old nordic practices. I thought you might be willing to share some of what you know, or some resources you recommend I explore? If it's not a hassle.

Sæll (eða sæl) vinur,
(Hello friend,)

No question is ever a hassle, my friend. I am more than happy to share my knowledge regarding vættir (nature spirits). Not all vættir are land sprits, though, for those are often referred to as landvættir. Still, vættir of the land seem to be the most common and most often interacted with, so I will focus our discussion on them specifically. To be honest, they are a particularly favorite subject of mine! I wrote a lot, so I am structuring this answer as an essay, which I hope you do not mind. It should help to organize the content!

On Landvættir: An Exploration of Primary Source Examples and Suggestions for Further Reading.

It is not surprising that we know fairly little about them, because they are quite elusive in our surviving texts. This is mainly because they are not always referred to directly being ‘landvættir’, but rather are referred to indirectly. The landvættir, from what I know of them, do not even appear in our eddic sources, but perhaps indirectly and vaguely, if they do. I also do suppose some people align the landvættir with the álfar (elves), which is reasonable. If this is done, they do appear in eddic material, in a way. Yet, even so, they still remain quite vague even in those sources. In the end, references to the landvættir seem to mostly be hidden gems scattered throughout other materials, such as Landnámabók (Book of Settlements) and the Íslendingasögur (Sagas of the Icelanders).

What are ‘Vættir’?

It is good to begin with solid footing, so let’s begin with a bit of an introduction to what a vættr (weight, or nature sprint) is:

“There were various kinds of nature spirits that the Icelanders (and other Scandinavians) believed in, and sometimes gave sacrifices to. There are early references to elves (álfar) in mainland Scandinavia. Like their modern-day equivalents, the “hidden people” (and expression used in both Norway and Iceland), these would have been of human size. Even close to nature were the guardian spirits of the land, or landvættir which inhabited the landscape. The welfare of the inhabitants of the country depended on their welfare and support, as can be seen in Egil’s Saga, ch. 58, when Egil raises a scorn-pole (níð) facing the guardian spirits of Norway. According to Ulfljot’s Law, people approaching Iceland by sea had to remove the dragon-heads from the prows of their ships to avoid frightening the guardian spirits.”(1.)

From that, we can gather a few things: that there are many more types of vættir than just those who inhabit the land (although those will be the ones I mostly focus on in this discussion), that there is a long, evolving tradition surrounding them that lasts even into current times, and that they held considerable influence over the lands they inhabited, and even over the people who lived in those lands.

The Landvættir Today (Iceland):

Speaking of modern-day representations, the landvættir live on in Iceland’s coat of arms (a dragon, a bird, a bull, and a mountain giant):

Their story is told in Snorri Sturluson’s Heimskringla, or more precisely in The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason contained therein:

“King Haraldr (as in Bluetooth, the son of Gorm) told a man skilled in magic to go in changed shape to Iceland and  find out what he could tell the king. He went in the form of a whale. And when he came to the land, he went westwards round the north of the country. He saw that all the mountains and hills were full of land-spirits (landvættir), some large and some small. And when he came opposite Vápnafjǫrðr, then he went into the fjord and was going to go ashore. Then there went down along the valley a great dragon, and with it many snakes, toads and vipers, and spat poison on him. And he swam away and westwards along the coast, right up to Eyjafjǫrðr. He went in along that fjord. There a bird went against him, so large that its wings reached out to the mountains on both sides, and a multitude of other birds both large and small. He went away from there and westwards round the coast and so south to Breiðifjǫrðr and made to go into that fjord. There a huge bull went against him and waded out into the sea and began to bellow horribly. A multitude of land-spirits came with it. He went away from there and southwards round Reykjanes and tried to go up onto Víkarsskeið. There a mountain giant came against him with an iron staff in his hand, and his head rose higher than the mountains, and many other giants with him. From there he went eastwards along the whole length of the coast.”(2.)

Thus, these landvættir have a long history, stetting far back into at least the medieval period. From this example, we can tell that they were very powerful. Not only that, though, but that the land was “full of landvættir.” Yet, this example shows their menacing power to outsiders, but what about those living among them? For this, we shall turn to the Landnámabók.

Examples from Landnámabók:

Iceland seems to have provided us with the unique opportunity of gaining some minor insights into how native settlers treated the landvættir. Below are three examples of three different settlers interacting with these spirits:

Bjorn Gnupsson (Hafr-Bjorn):

“One night Bjorn dreamed that a cliff-giant came and offered him partnership, and that he accepted the offer. Afterwards a strange billy-goat came to join his herd of goats, and his livestock began to multiply so fast that soon he was a wealthy man. After that he was called Hafr-Bjorn (Goat-Bjorn). People with second sight could see that all the guardian spirits of the land accompanied him when he attended the Althing, and Thorstein and Thord (his brothers) when they went out fishing.”(3.)

In this example, Hafr-Bjorn befriends a landvættr that is referred to as a cliff-giant, or, in some other versions I believe, as a cliff or rock-dweller. He was actually offered this friendship from the landvættr itself in a dream, which demonstrates a possible method for communication with a landvættr. Furthermore, this example reveals the benefits to such a relationship, which was usually prosperity in land-related activities, such as the raising of livestock and fishing. Hafr-Bjorn and his brothers must have treated these spirits with great respect to have earned their friendship, and the benefits of such relations are clearly worthwhile. Also, this example shows us that seeing the landvættir required a special skill, or “second sight,” so not everyone could nor can see these spirits.

Olvir Eysteinsson:

“Olvir Eysteinsson took possession of land east of Grims River where no one had dared to settle for fear of land-spirits, since Hjorleif was killed there.” (4.)

Hjorleif was a blot-brother of Ingolf’s, the alleged first settler of Iceland.(5.) He was killed by a another man’s (Dufthak) slaves while looking for a bear in the woods.(6.) Yet, it was also mentioned earlier that he “would never sacrifice to the gods.”(7.) Regardless, his death laid a bad omen across that land, which is felt even when, many years later, a settler named Olvir comes along (as told above). This example, although short, demonstrates even the native fear of the power that the landvættir held, and that if their land was disrespected, it would likely not result in peaceful times for the settlers living there.

Thorstein Red-Nose (son of Hrolf Red-Beard):

“Thorstein Red-Nose was a great sacrificer. He used to make sacrifices to the waterfall and all the left-overs had to be thrown into it. He could see clearly into the future. Thorstein had all his sheep counted and they numbered 2400; after that they all jumped over the wall of the fold. Thorstein had so many sheep because each autumn he could see which of the sheep were doomed to die, and he had those slaughtered. That’s why he always had so many. The last autumn of his life, he said at the sheep-fold, ‘Now you can slaughter any of the sheep you life. Either I’m doomed to die or the sheep are doomed, or all of us are.’ The night he died, all the sheep got swept into the waterfall by a gale.”(8.)

This example is fascinating, because we kind of must piece things together to truly get the depth behind it. Thorstein was sacrificing the a landvættr that lived in a waterfall. It seems that this landvættr granted him this ability of foresight to enhance his skill in maintaining his sheep. I find this to be the case because, at the end of this example, the sheep are ‘returned’ to the waterfall once Thorstein passes away, therefore connecting the sheep to the waterfall through Thorstein. Once he was gone, the connection was broken and the landvættr took what was rightfully its.

All of these examples serve to demonstrate the various aspects of the landvættir that you asked about. They were honored much like the gods themselves were, it seems, although suitable information to ‘prove’ this is still to be desired. They either came to you in a dream, like one did with Hafr-Bjorn, or they would be won over through generous sacrifice, as was seen with Thorstein. They were respected and given appreciation to keep them in good spirits. After all, when angered or ignored, they could cause fear, as seen with the case of Olvir, or even destructive and threatening, as seen in the Saga of Olaf Tryggvason.

Examples from Icelandic Sagas and Tales:

If Landnámabók was not quite satisfying enough, there are still a few examples to be explored from Egil’s Saga and The Tale of Thorvald the Far-Travelled. For those reading this that are already well-read, it may seem odd for me to be leaving out Bard’s Saga. That example deals with vættir-related subject matter intensively, and I would rather recommend that as a full reading than except it as an example on this post, so I will return to Bard momentarily.

Egil’s Saga, chapter 58:

“He (Egil) took a hazel pole in his hand and went to the edge of a rock facing inland. Then he took a horse’s head and put it on the end of the pole.

Afterwards he made an invocation, saying, ‘Here I set up this scorn-pole (nið) and turn its scorn upon King Eirik and Queen Gunnhild’ - then turned the horse’s head to face land - ‘and I turn its scorn upon the nature spirits (vættir) that inhabit this land, sending them all astray so that none of them shall find its resting-place by chance or design until they have driven King Eirik and Gunnhild from this land.’

Then he drove the pole into a cleft in the rock and left it to stand there. He turned the head towards the land and carved the whole invocation in runes on the pole.”(9.)

In this example, we can see that people can actually ‘control’ the wrath of vættir, and they can even turn this wrath onto others, if they are skilled enough. Yet, in the case of Egil, he was wronged, and so he had right on his side (see footnote 9 for detail). Perhaps, then, vættir have a sense of justice even. Nonetheless, I suppose this is a sort of ritual, in which one would target their enemies with strong words, runes, and insulting imagery. Yet, it does hint that the vættir did play a social function as well. This was already indicated by the landvættir, who often protect the land and the people who dwell there, if they have a good relationship with them, of course. Thus, vættir can either protect people or attack them, depending on their relationship with the user and his or her skill.

Thorvald the Far-Travelled, chapter 3:

In this example, the ‘theme’ of a vættr is used very strategically by the author, so we must take caution in how we read this source. In the quote below, Thorvald talks with his father, Kodran, about converting to Christianity. Kodran responds (at first) by telling Thorvald that he has a ‘prophet’ who lives in some nearby stone, and that this prophet helps him in many ways. The author treats this prophet as a demon, although it seems that this figure is being built upon the tradition of the vættir.

“ ‘But I have another prophet of my own, who is very beneficial to me. He tells me many things which have not yet come to be. He takes care of my cattle, and reminds me what I should do and what I should avoid. That is why I have great faith in him and have worshipped him for a long time, but you are your prophet (a bishop named Fridrek) and your religion disparage him a great deal, and he dissuades me from making any agreements with you, and especially from taking your faith.’

‘Where does your prophet live?’ asked Thorvald.

‘He lives here, close by my farm,’ said Kodran, ‘in a large and imposing stone.’

Thorvald asked how long he had been living there.

Kodran said he had lived there for a long time.”(10.)

A few things should sound familiar by now. This is a landvættr, for he dwells within a stone. It also seems that we can conclude that landvættir are prophetic, because both here and with Thorstein Red-Nose in Landnámabók. The landvættir also tend to earthly things, such as livestock and farms, as we have seen with Hafr-Bjorn (goats), Thorstein Red-Nose (sheep), and now here with Kodran (cattle). The ‘prophet’ is also very old, which would not be surprising for a landvættr. Thus, it is not unreasonable to notice the connection here with landvættir, even though this tale never explicitly uses the term, which brings back a point made earlier that references to landvættir are like hidden gems scattered throughout our sources.

Recommendations for Further Reading:

It may be troublesome to randomly read sagas and tales with the hopes of stumbling upon one of these gems. Of course, I have already named a few that touch on the topic, but they are generally centered around other ideas and motives. If you want the short-cut method (other than just reading this post), I highly recommend you take a look into this source:

H.R. Ellis Davis, Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions(Syracuse University Press, 1989). 

This book would be the best way to learn about the material from a reliable place, and without scavenging the primary source material for information. Google has an eBook version that contains a preview, if you would like to check that out before purchasing. For the most direct information on landvættir, I recommend special attention be given to pages 102 through 133. In fact, I tried to make use of the examples discussed in her book as well, so that, if you choose to read it, things should be more familiar to you already. The whole book seems to be quite the gem, though, so you may be interested in that text for other purposes as well.

Regarding primary sources, you can investigate any of the sources I covered in this post by looking at the relevant footnotes. I will say, though, that I have mostly pulled what is relevant from the sources that you would have easy access to. For example, I would hate to recommend Egil’s Saga just for you to only have that portion of chapter 58 to read about regarding landvættir.

As I mentioned briefly before, I do highly recommend a complete reading of Bard’s Saga, although it may be difficult to acquire the text. I have done research on what English translations are available for all the Icelandic sagas and tales (you can see that information on this post), and, in this endeavor, I found that Bard’s Saga seems to only be reasonably accessible (in English) via this book: 

Ralph O’Connor, Icelandic Histories & Romances. (Tempus, 2004).

If you have trouble, don’t hesitate to let me know, because I would be more than happy to try to help you find a way to read that saga.


So, in the end, what have we learned?

  • Vættir are nature spirits, and people often sacrificed to them. Many of these vættir were called landvættir, but only those who lived in features of the land, such as waterfalls or large stones.
  • Landvættir (at least) can be in the form of animals, so they do not always take a human form.
  • Vættir could be friendly, but they could also be spiteful when angered, ignored, or disrespected.
  • Some landvættir protected entire regions or countries, whereas others protected local farmsteads. Sometimes they did not protect for the sake of humanity, but for themselves, and so if you are not on friendly terms with them, they will likely cause you great trouble.
  • Many people gave offerings to the landvættir to build a stronger relationship with them and the land. These offerings were not always material, but could also be offerings of respect and recognition, because some landvættir became friendly with people without the need for a formal sacrifice. Sometimes they would come to people in dreams, but only if they wished to.
  • A landvættr could offer a friend many gifts, but mostly prosperity in regards to the raising of livestock, in farming, and even in advice. Another frequent gift they would offer would be the gift of prophecy or foresight.
  • The vættir could be ‘manipulated’ in such a way to incite trouble for a foe, although this seems to require careful skill, for the user would not wish to disrespect the vættir him- or herself, lest they wish to incur their wrath. Yet, this could also be due to good relations.
  • Not everyone could see vættir, for this required a special ability referred to as “second-sight.”
  • Despite not holding a prominent place in Eddic material, other sources suggest that the vættir placed a very central and regional role within the confines of Norse heathenism, and even beyond. Many of the practices told above would ahem been a part of daily life, and can best be summed up as a deep respect, and sometimes fear, of the power of nature.
  • The tradition surrounding the vættir has lived on for quite a long time, existing likely even before Iceland was settled. The vættir still live on today in folklore and in national images such as Iceland’s coat of arms.

Seems like we have learned quite a bit! Of course, this is perhaps only just the surface of the complexity that surrounds the vættir, but it is still quite rich and rewarding. Besides, I have only discussed examples from Iceland. Nonetheless, I do hope that you and others benefit from this post, despite its possibly daunting length. Feel free to reach out to me in the future if the need arises. I am always happy to discuss these things!

Með vinsemd og virðingu,
(With friendliness and respect,)


1. Viðar Hreinsson, Reference Section: Glossary, in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders: Including 49 Tales, Vol. V, edited by Viðar Hreinsson, Robert Cook, Terry Gunnell, Keneva Kunz, and Bernard Scudder, (Reykjavík: Leifur Eiríksson Publishing, 1997), 413.

Fig.1. Coat of Arms of Iceland, Wikimedia Commons.

2. Snorri Struluson, The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason, in Heimskringla, Vol. I, translated by Alison Finlay and Anthony Faulkes. (Viking Society for Northern Research: University College London, 2016), 168. (Chapter 33)

3. Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards trans., The Book of Settlements: Landnámabók. (repr., 1972; Manitoba: University of Manitoba Press, 2012), 125. (Chapter 329, Sturlubók)

4. Ibid., 126. (Chapter 330, Sturlubók)

5. Ari Thorgilsson, The Book of the Icelanders: Íslendingabók, translated by Siân Grønlie. (Viking Society for Northern Research: University College London, 2006), 4.

“It is said with accuracy that a Norwegian called Ingólfr travelled from there [Norway] to Iceland for the first time when Haraldr the Fine-Haired was sixteen years old, and a second time a few years later; he settled in the south in Reykjarvík.”

6. Pálsson trans., The Book of Settlements, 20. (Chapter 8, Sturlubók)

7. Ibid., 19. (Chapter 7, Sturlubók)

8. Ibid., 134. (Chapter 329, Sturlubók)

9. Bernard Scudder trans., Egil’s Saga, in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders: Including 49 Tales, Vol. I, edited by Viðar Hreinsson, Robert Cook, Terry Gunnell, Keneva Kunz, and Bernard Scudder, (Reykjavík: Leifur Eiríksson Publishing, 1997), 114. (Chapter 58) I recommend referring to the Penguin edition (page 119), due to the expense of the version I have used in writing this post.

I actually stubbled upon another bit of information, a poem this time, contained earlier in this chapter (Verse 29, page 110. Penguin: page 114). This actually explains why Egil did not incur the wrath of the landvættir, because he had right on his side. Think of it as a treat for actually reading these footnotes:

“Land spirit, the law-breaker        – (‘land spirit’ appears here as ‘landalfr’).
has forced me to travel 
far and wide; his bride deceives
the man who slew his brothers.
Grim-tempered Gunnhild must pay
for driving me from this land.
In my youth, I was quick to conquer
hesitation and avenge treachery.”

10. John Porter trans., The Tale of Thorvald the Far-Travelled, in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders: Including 49 Tales, vol. V, edited by Viðar Hreinsson, Robert Cook, Terry Gunnell, Keneva Kunz, and Bernard Scudder, (Reykjavík: Leifur Eiríksson Publishing, 1997), 360. (Chapter 3)

Wondrous by SBK

“Are we deer yet?”  Three and a half year old Judith Grimes asks for the sixth time at her father’s dismay.

Rick Grimes closes his eyes and drops the map to his thighs as he tries to conjure up enough patience to quietly and politely ignore his daughter.  He takes a deep breath, opens his eyes, and looks over to his wife in the driver’s seat.  “Don’t say it.”

“Say what?”  She asks innocently.

“I know you want to but just…..don’t,” he requests quietly.

She only smiles as she keeps her eyes on the road.  He wanted to take a short cut to Oceanside, trying his best to make their drive as pleasant as possible as Judy was impatient and Carl was sulking because Rick decided this would be a true family getaway and Carl’s girlfriend, Enid, would be left behind for a change.  She opens her mouth to speak only to hear their son grunt yet again.  Here it comes………

“I still don’t understand why Enid couldn’t come with us.  We’ve all been to Oceanside before and she likes the beach just like we do,” Carl complains yet again.

Rick rattles the map, his frustration evident.  “It’s only a couple of days Carl.  This will be Judith’s first time at the beach so I wanted it to be a family thang.  You’ll be alright without her and she’ll be alright without you.  Besides, the four of us haven’t had a real family vacation and this will have to do.”

Michonne looks in the rearview mirror, sympathizing as she sees Carl’s morose expression.

“I bet you wouldn’t leave Mom behind for a couple of days,” Carl whispers.

Rick turns to look back at his son.  “What was that?”


“Are we deer yet?”

This time, Carl is the one to sigh the loudest and say, “Judith please.  Stop being such a baby.  You’ll be the first to know when we get there ok?”

“I’m no a baby.  You a baby,” the little one returns defiantly.

“Yeah whatever you say…..ba—by.”  Carl sticks his tongue out at his little sister, knowing that would get a rise out of her.

As soon as the two start fussing, Rick puts the map aside and moves to the rear of the RV to referee.

Michonne shakes her head and tries to contain her laughter as the three members of her immediate family are slightly on edge.  The word baby is thrown around again and she can’t help it as she visualizes a cute and cuddly baby Andre when he was first born.  The memories of him used to pain her so severely that she would do almost anything to keep them at bay.  Nowadays, she welcomes them, holding on to one of the happiest moments of her life.  She takes a deep breath and watches her family in the mirror once again before returning her eyes to the road.  She remembers meeting Judith for the first time and how that pain and despair has transformed into so much love she feels her heart will burst from it.

A thought hits her and she frowns as she tries to remember her last cycle. Over a year ago, a missed cycle was the norm due to irregular meals and a slight bout of malnutrition but that is not the case now.  Alexandria is thriving like never before.  They’re growing crops, raising livestock….things are good for them now.  Hence this variation of a family vacation.  They’ve visited Oceanside other times but never the four of them and they never stayed overnight.  Time has brought change to all of the communities.  OS has been able to maintain a certain spread of the beachfront and they’ve come back to enjoy it at their leisure for a change.

Rick returns, dropping back into his seat with a soft thump.  “Please tell me we only have a few more miles.  I’m ready to let Judy loose on the beach so she can run until she passes out.”  He laughs but notices immediately that his wife is not laughing with him.  He looks over and takes in the deep, thoughtful scowl on her face.  “What’s wrong?”

Michonne’s features relax as she glances his way briefly.  She tightens her grip on the steering wheel, checks on the kids once again, and whispers, “I think I’m….late.”

Rick shakes the map, giving it his attention and asks absently, “Late for what?”

She rolls her eyes heavenward before giving him a quick peek.  He is engrossed in the map once again.  “Rrrriiiiicccckkkkk……” she draws his name out long and slow, connecting with his eyes once he looks up at her.

The expression on his face is blank so she kindly places a hand on her belly and watches as his eyes grow wide with understanding.

The map drops to his lap with a sound crinkle.  He tilts his head, then glances back at the kids, thankful they seem to be entertaining each other instead of aggravating each other.  “Are you….sure?”

She gives a negative shake of her head.  “No but I think we should be sure.  I can get a test from Denise once we get home.”

“You’re gonna make me wait?”

“We’re on vacation remember?”

“Well maybe we should head back…..” He goes silent as she whips her head in his direction so fast that her hair bats her in the face.  “Maybe not.”

She pauses for just a moment.  “I’m probably not anyway.  I was just sharing because I couldn’t remember the last time I had my cycle and….”

“You can’t remember?  It’s been that long?” Rick asks excitedly.

“It’s gonna be fine Rick.  We’ll enjoy our time here at Oceanside and deal with the rest later.”  She smiles at him as she brings the vehicle to a stop, puts it in park and yells at the kids, “We’re here!!!!”

Cyndie, Rachel, and several others open the gates and walk out to meet them.

Michonne, Carl, and Judith exit the RV together as Rick takes several deep breaths before following behind them.

The family spends several minutes getting reacquainted with the Oceanside group before Judith announces that she is ready to see the beach.  Carl had been relaying stories to her so her excitement is at an all-time high.

Rachel and Cyndie gather toy shovels and plastic buckets just for Judith and lead the way.  Carl joins them as Rick and Michonne follow at a slower pace.

She grabs her husband’s hand and kisses it.  “Would you relax please?  I promise everything is going to be ok.”

“You’re sure?”

“I’m positive Rick.  Have I ever steered you wrong?”

He takes a moment to consider her words.  A smile plays around his mouth as he answers, “No.  You haven’t.”

“And you still trust me?”

“Of course I do.”

“So whatever we find out when we get back home is going to be fine either way because it’s me and you…..together.”

He squeezes her hand.  “Me and you.”

They arrive at the beach and watch closely as Carl and Rachel put down a couple of walkers before dragging them off to a designated area and returning to help Judith find some clams.

Their daughter giggles quietly as she kicks off her shoes and curls her toes in the sand.  Seeing the wondrous expression on her face warms their hearts and makes them glad they made the decision to do this.

“Looks like she’s having fun,” Rick suggests as his wife nods.

Cyndie walks over to them.  “Hey.  You two can take a walk if you want since this is a vacation and such.  Carl and I can handle things….or rather Carl and Rachel.  I’ll take care of Judith.”

“Thanks but this is a family vacation.  Y’all are welcome to stay but I’m ready to get some sand under my feet,” Rick announces.  He removes his boots and his socks and joins Judith to dig up some sand, searching for clams.

Michonne smiles and does the same, giving Carl a stern look and a smile once the nearly grown young man joins them.

Cyndie and Rachel smile as they move off to give the family some alone time.  Although they both know that Rick, Michonne, Carl, and Judith can handle anything that comes their way, they linger around on the beach at a distance watching the family quietly.

demigod tae

Originally posted by marikit257

  • i was gonna say something low key salty about got7 but i won’t cause i don’t want to get beat up
  • anyway this is demigod tae
  • if that wasn’t obvious
  • alright let’s start from the beginning shall we
  • tae’s dad was a simple man, just a farmer
  • a livestock farmer like a very small farm down in the countryside of upper new york, just past corning
  • can you raise livestock there well i guess you can now
  • it’s mostly cows!! but there’s also a little plot of land dedicated to growing some crops maybe like a sweet potato that seems valuable
  • okay anyway he has his little farm, taehyung’s dad that is, and he’s pretty isolated all to himself
  • he gets together with some other fatness occasionally and sells his goods whatever that may be
  • idk about farming im just going off harvest moon okay
  • but you know it’s whatever
  • okay down to the drama
  • there’s a forecast for major flooding in the area, and tae’s dad is a little worried because while he’s on high ground, he loves his little cows and he will not let them get hurt
  • so when the rain starts to fall, he grabs seven hundred blankets and treks out to the barn where all the cows are
  • he pats down some hay and makes a little nest for himself so he can chill with the cows
  • the rain starts to pour and it’s actually rather alarming how hard it’s slamming against the roof, but tae’s dad feels infinitely better knowing he’s with the cows and they’re safe
  • he’s relaxing, singing some songs to the cows, when there’s this sudden slamming against the barn door
  • tae’s dad thinks he must be hearing things, but he’s maybe too curious for his own good, and so he goes to check it out for himself
  • he opens the door cautiously, and standing there in the pouring down rain is a pretty lady, with a hoodie under a pair overalls
  • she’s very tanned, and her hair is dark and a little unruly, and her eyes are the color of the earth right after it rains
  • tae’s dad gets all flustered because she’s gorgeous but then he snaps out of it and ushers her in
  • so what if she’s oh, i don’t know, a serial killer or something
  • she’s kill him with a garden hoe or something smh
  • anyway he quickly searches around the barn and finds some old blankets and hands them over
  • he then takes off his jacket and says he’ll close his eyes if she wants to put it on
  • he definitely doesn’t try to peek through his fingers
  • no he wouldn’t, he’s a good guy and he gives her the privacy she needs and when she changes he opens his eyes again
  • “how’d you even find this place?” he can’t help but ask
  • the lady ignores him at first, heading over to buttercup the cow and rubbing her head affectionately
  • finally she looks over at tae’s dad “lost.”
  • he gives her this look because who even wanders out into the countryside anyhow?? like how did she even find the countryside???
  • “you must really love these cows. they’re fond of you.” the lady says with a soft smile. “especially this one.”
  • and tae’s dad eyes widen and he just gives her this look “wait can you—”
  • “what?” and she smiles and goes back to petting the cows
  • obviously she can’t really escape the rain and so the lady decides to camp out with tae’s dad and the cows for the night
  • and they spend the entire night rambling about their favorite flowers and favorite garden plants and favorite vegetables to grow and the best ways to care for chickens
  • they don’t even sleep because they spend the entire night talking and also the rain is really really loud they can’t sleep under those conditions
  • and she won’t reveal her name the entire night but when the sun starts to rise, she looks over at tae’s dad and kinda mumbles “the names demeter”
  • and tae’s dad eyes light up and he gets all smiley “you mean like the greek goddess??”
  • “something like that”
  • and by mid morning, the rain has calmed down into a soft sort of drizzle and demeter could easily leave but she chooses not too, instead the two of them stay in the barn and keep talking
  • and they kind of get on the topic of the farm and demeter is all “oh is it only you caring for everything here?”
  • and he nods “it’s fine. not many people like farming.”
  • “i like farming.”
  • it starts out with demeter showing up bright-eyed every morning, ready to work under the blazing sun with tae’s dad and yes it’s hard work but they’re always smiling and getting to know each other better and tae’s dad’s corny farm jokes make demeter giggle and blush
  • get it
  • corny jokes
  • cause it’s a farm
  • okay but the months go on and demeter is staying later and later and the two are getting closer and closer
  • and finally tae’s dad is like “there’s an extra room in the house”
  • and that’s when demeter officially moves in with tae’s dad
  • she’s like wow yikes i wasn’t planning on falling in love with him this is— this is new
  • so she’s like well i better tell him i’m the actually the greek goddess so when he’s scared away at least there’ll be a valid reason for it
  • and so one day she comes down to breakfast and sits on the old wooden bench where a plate of scrambled eggs and fresh strawberries is waiting for her
  • she kinda smiles a bit because wow she really is in love??
  • and tae’s dad comes down the stairs and his hair is a mess and he looks sleepy still and demeter is literally heart eyes for days
  • he comes and sits across from her and has the most gentle of smiles on his lips
  • demeter starts to play with her hands nervously “look, i gotta tell you something…”
  • and tae’s dad rests his hands on hers to try and calm her “it’s okay!! i already know your secret.”
  • “you, you do?!”
  • “you like me, don’t you?”
  • and demeter just stares at him because he’s giggling to himself and he looks so damn proud of himself
  • “i thought that one was obvious.” she laughs and she leans over and kisses him on the nose
  • and yes, she eventually tells him her actual secret and yes he totally flips out but not in a bad way more like the most excited wonderful way in the world
  • they don’t actually get married because yah she’s a goddess that kind of breaks the goddess rules but they basically act like it
  • they raise all the beautiful cattle and sunflowers and carrots together
  • but
  • but is that enough??
  • nah fam it’s not
  • they’re sitting at breakfast again right
  • and they’re holding hands as the sun shines through the window and the birds sing outside
  • “look, i gotta tell you something…”
  • tae’s dad laughs and he kisses her forehead “oh come on, i already know you’re the goddess demeter!!”
  • “i thought that one was obvious…”
  • they both laugh but get serious again
  • “look, the reality of it is… i’m pregnant”
  • tae’s dad screams for maybe the next seven years?? yah, at least seven
  • he spins her in his arms and kisses her face all over and then kisses her stomach
  • zeus doesn’t even seem interested in demeter and gods only know why
  • but she gets to stay with tae’s dad, and eventually, with lil baby tae
  • as soon as he can crawl baby tae is out in the garden, messing with the sunflower, pulling up carrots, trying to talk to the bumble bees
  • he’s the cutest baby and he’s spoiled by his parents, especially so by demeter who gives him the gift of being able to grow plants by singing to them
  • like one day he’ll have the potential to control plants with his song but right now he’s a small bean baby
  • get it bean
  • cause demeter
  • anyway tae is raised knowing who his mom is and he’s so damn proud even though he’s not allowed to tell anyone he’s so proud of her and he thinks she’s the coolest person in the world
  • he obviously loves his dad too
  • small bean tae names all the cows after his godly aunts and uncles and apollo is so damn offended he has an ugly ass cow named after him
  • tae absolutely adores nature like both of his parents and he’s like i’m gonna be a farmer like both of you guys are!!
  • and demeter is like look buddy… and that’s when she gives him the whole demigod talk like we love you and everything but eventually zeus is gonna come for my ass and i won’t be here to protect you any longer and you need to go to a special place called camp half blood
  • and tae just about sobs because he’s such a momma and daddy’s boy like he loves both of his parents and the idea of having to be separated from his parents breaks his heart
  • after he hears about camp half blood he sleeps in his parents bed for like four weeks straight
  • but alas the time comes for him to go and unlike most demigods there’s no monster attack, no monster chase scene
  • it’s just him and his parents all walking hand in hand to the border of camp half blood
  • tae is sniffling, because even though he’s like twelve years old he loves his parents more than anything
  • demeter promises he’s always welcome back home but she might not be there, and he need to learn and train to be able to defend himself in the demigod world
  • so tae reluctantly steps past the border and when he gets inside he’s a sniffling mess but guess what’s above his head it’s demeter’s emblem
  • the most adorable boy in the world comes running over to tae and he gets all flustered because the boy is up in space and he’s so adorable
  • “hi i’m hoseok!! i know about you, you’re the one who named a cow after my dad!! my dad said i should seek revenge but you’re so cute, so i’ll take you to your cabin instead!!”
  • that’s how tae ends up in the demeter cabin, surrounded by a bunch of siblings who immediately put a flower crown on his head and a giggling hoseok who wants one too
  • i didnt know this was four pages long but it already is and im at school typing this aren’t you guys im willing to sacrifice my grades for this au
  • jk im in creative writing this is a really chill class and i can get away with doing this kind of thing
  • okay anyway tae grows up at camp and he always goes back to visit his dad because demeter is back up on olympus but she drops by sometimes and they’ll have picnics together
  • but for the most part his days are spent at camp, training and overall being one of the heartthrobs of camp
  • like i know demeter has a wicked wrath, just think like winter?? but i see the demeter cabin being pretty chill, almost like your stereotypical hippies
  • like tae is super happy go lucky we all know that but at camp he has like zero boundaries he would probably walk up to someone and be like wow you’re so cute i wanna kiss you!!
  • probably how he met jeongguk tbh, and then yoongi respectively who then threatened to beat the daylights out of him
  • okay anyway he always has his flower crown perched atop his head, it’s never like him actively picking flowers for his crown, but like since he has the ability to revive things, he can take flowers that have died and revive them for his cute little crown
  • he makes some for all of bangtan and it’s quite the ordeal because hoseok asks if he can pretty please have sunflowers, and pink roses are obviously the flower of choice for jin, but yoongi whines and complains when he doesn’t have the same kind of flowers as jeongguk has
  • tae should make a business out of it or something
  • okay but i don’t see tae as someone who actively wants to fight even if it’s for his own protection, he thinks that monsters probably have good in them if you look long and hard enough for it
  • but he can’t just rely on that philosophy when you know- he’s about to be eaten
  • he has a spear and it’s a perfect fit because he’s tall and he’s agile and it can be used as defense as well as a weapon unlike like, idk a bow or something
  • okay anyway back to tae being the cutest smallest bean at camp who isn’t actually small but whatever
  • okay so you’re pretty on the dl around camp, you stick to your cabin, a few close friends, but you definitely don’t go out there and try to get to learn everyone and their stories
  • you like to spend your days, sparring with close friends, reading, hanging in the arts cabin, or just kind of doing your own thing
  • the rockwall is something you’ve always wanted to try though and so one day you’re like you know what i’m gonna head down there and i’m gonna climb the wall of doom
  • but there’s kind of a line going on because like while anyone can just go for it, it’s hard to maneuver when there’s seventy two other people trying to climb the same area that you are
  • and you’re like i can do this, i’ll wait, it’s no big deal
  • but after a while, you feel a pair of eyes on you
  • you know how you can just tell when someone is staring at you?
  • well that’s the feeling you’re getting right then and there and so you spin around and leaning up against a tree is the most handsome person you have ever seen
  • he’s tall, dark, and handsome
  • i finally can use this
  • yes, in all of these au’s, all the boys retain their natural glow, this is an anti-whitewashing blog
  • anyway he catches you staring and you would assume he would look away all embarrassed but nah fam, he gives you one of those nods, and then winks and you immediately turn back around and shove your hands into your pockets because that is not allowed to happen no sir how dare he do that to you
  • how dare he attack you in your own home
  • but guess what you can still feel his eyes boring a hole into the back of your head and you will not tolerate this oh no
  • so you spin back around and he smiles and motions you over and you’re like hoe don’t do it but you do anyway
  • you cautiously make your way over to him and when he sees you’re actually coming his eyes light up and this huge smile breaks out on your face and you’re like this is what heaven looks like i guess
  • “i’m taehyung, but you can call me tae, or babe, whichever you prefer”
  • you roll your eyes and laugh a bit and he laughs too and wow that’s a very nice life
  • you introduce yourself and then you ask why he called you over and suddenly he looks confused and you have this sudden panic that maybe he was waving to someone else but then he smiles all cute
  • “well, it’s cause you’re adorable!! and i wanted to tell you, duh”
  • and you get super blushy and flustered and stare up at him and he just gives a shrug and smiles again
  • “me and my friends are probably gonna head down to the lake later today, do you wanna come?”
  • a few hours later, you find yourself fending off hoseok and taehyung who are trying to splash you and jeongguk with water
  • seokjin pulls down his sunglasses to glare and jimin mimics him and yoongi naps under his floppy sunhat
  • namjoon is stuck in the middle of the war
  • when you prove very resistant to his attacks, tae starts singing to the seaweed and suddenly it’s all up on your legs and you squeal and try to move but the seaweed has you in place
  • tae giggles and demands your surrender but before he can claim victory, hoseok splashes him and tae falls back in the water dramatically
  • you break through the seaweed and run over to him to see if he’s okay but when you lean over, tae grabs your arm and pulls you down into the water with you
  • it’s really shallow so it’s not it’s dangerous and you practically fall onto tae so there’s that happening
  • you gasp loudly and try to get up but he tells you that it’s really fine and that you can be his human shield from that traitor hoseok
  • which you end up doing
  • besides tae is just warm?? and laying in the water next to him isn’t half bad
  • after that you’re always with the group, no matter what
  • mostly with tae but the group does exist in the background…
  • like you even get an honorary flower crown and tae acts oblivious when namjoon calls him out for using flowers that mean beauty and attraction and love
  • but you and tae don’t really ever hang out alone because one of the boys if not more are tagging along–
  • until you get sent on a quest
  • and taehyung is the only one who tags along
  • there’s been some suspicious activity out west and you and taehyung have been chosen to go expect the issue and fix what needs to be mended
  • the quest is really freaking vague and you and tae are somewhat confused but hey, as long as tae is by your side you don’t mind
  • he’s not very good at fighting and you always have to protect him, but he can use certain plants to heal your wounds if needed
  • he likes to set up camp at night and he always volunteers to watch first so you can sleep
  • he’s also pointing out the different kinds of plants you encounter in each of the different states and he talks about all their properties
  • at first things were kind of !! because obv you both had a thing for each other deep down but after a week in tae was like you know what—
  • and so he casually holds your hand and when you question it he says “it’s safer this way”
  • he lets you use his sleeping bag because he insists it’s warmer
  • okay anyway you get to the good old west and you’re like okay so what are we supposed to do—
  • and suddenly you get an iris message and yoongi and jin appear on the screen and you’re like my dudes!!!
  • but they look absolutely worried and now you’re kind of questioning what’s going on
  • jin sounds absolutely panicked “you two need to leave, it’s not safe for you anymore, we figured out why you two are there and-”
  • the message cuts off suddenly but right before it’s gone you hear yoongi curse
  • you and tae exchange horrified looks but you shake your head “look, we’re aware, we’ll be okay…”
  • there’s a sudden rustling from behind you and you and tae spin, but a small kid comes walking up and you’re like where—
  • “hi, i’m minhyuk!! i’m from camp jupiter, you must be taehyung?”
  • taehyung glares “hey i’m not the only person here”
  • and he introduces you with a scowl
  • “it’s okay…” you rub his arm soothingly “i didn’t know there was another camp–”
  • “really??” minhyuk just shrugs. “well come with me, we have a lot to talk about!!”
  • minhyuk grabs you by the hand and tae just about has a heart attack because wait no other cute boys aren’t allowed to touch you like that !!
  • but anyway you end up at camp jupiter or as you like to call it “camp sticks up their asses” because it’s so strict
  • it’s nothing like camp half blood and while it’s definitely impressive it’s not home whatsoever
  • and like everyone seems way too interested in taehyung and you’re not liking it whatsoever
  • like everyone is like wow you’re so handsome and so gifted and so strong
  • and tae is like i’ve never killed a monster lol
  • and they just— still so handsome and so gifted and so strong!!!
  • and you’re wondering what the heck is going on and why you’re here and what your quest is
  • but one day while you and tae are eating your meal, one of the campers, a kid named wonho, asks tae to follow him
  • you get up to tag along but wonho smiles softly “we’ll be back in a few okay??”
  • but they’re not back in a few
  • in fact it’s night and you’re still waiting for tae
  • luckily a pair of friends named taeil and sicheng try to keep you company and cheer you up
  • but you’re sniffling because you and tae are a duo and now he’s gone—
  • and it’s light out and camp and you go to the guest house alone
  • it’s past midnight when tae comes stumbling in
  • you bolt up and slide off the bunk to meet him and you pull him into your arms
  • “what the hell is going on?!”
  • taehyung shakes his head “they’re trying… the gods are a bunch of crackheads–”
  • and how he’s rambling and he’s talking about the gods and how their split personas are getting worse and how zeus///jupiter has this wild idea to try and merge camps permanently through an exchange program of sorts and how he was the one nominated along with the wonho kid and neither of them had a say in it whatsoever
  • and taehyung says he will not do it there’s no way in all the underworld he will do it
  • and you tell him to calm down and take some deep breaths because he’s overworking himself but he takes you by the shoulders
  • “i’m not leaving camp half blood!! i grew up there!! my family is there!! and you’re there, i’m not ever going to leave your side!!”
  • “tae, nobody ever said-”
  • “i love you!!!”
  • and you two just stare at each other and there are hot tears streaming down his face but he smiles softly “gods i really love you”
  • and he leans down and kisses you so so so gently as if you might break if he’s any rougher
  • that night you two crawl into the same bunk, snuggled together and praying for the best
  • you’re both shaken awake violently though, and you open your eyes to see taeil and minhyuk standing there
  • “hurry up hurry up, we’re getting you out!!”
  • the four of you sneak out of the cabin to the edge of camp and you’re like but what about the guards but minhyuk just laughs and giggles
  • boom you’re swept up in this black mist and it feels like you’re body is pulling itself apart—
  • tae grabs your hand and squeezes it tight
  • when you open your eyes you’re standing in the middle of what looks like a desert
  • “sorry, shadow travel is exhausting” minhyuk yawns
  • and you and tae just stare in confusion??? because minhyuk??? a son of pluto??? but he’s so pure???
  • “opposites attract i guess!!!”
  • he says he and taeil will get you guys out of california for protection
  • and they do
  • you and tae make it back to camp half blood safely and you explain the details to chiron because he wasn’t even sure what was going on
  • he says he’ll try to mediate ok the gods behalf
  • and most of the gods side against zeus so it’s okay!!!
  • you and tae are safe and very much in love
  • the end
International Archives Day

June 9 is International Archives Day with a theme of Archives, Citizenship and Interculturalism. In recognition of this day, University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives highlights our collection of 4-H club materials. A program founded more than a 100 years ago, 4-H currently reaches more than 7 million young people in more than 50 countries. While the bulk of the programs are managed through Cooperate Extension at land-grant universities in the United States such as the University of Idaho there are also independent 4-H programs being implemented on a global scale*

The clover symbol with the H on each leaf is the symbol of the program representing Head, Heart, Hands, and Health

(Illustration MA 2017-12 4-H Club Records)

Agricultural science has always been a strong focus for 4-H clubs.  The raising and showing of livestock is often traditionally associated with 4-H…

(Photo-MG 364 4-H Clubs of Idaho Records 1913-1985)

as is the study of crops and plants….

4-H members study plant seeds in an Agronomy class in 1923(PG 4-1-7)

and learning about new and innovative methods of farming.

(MG 364 4-H Clubs of Idaho Records 1913-1985)

4-H has long been providing its members with opportunities to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math(STEM) through activities and projects.

Mohammed Alief with the University of Idaho Bureau of Mines and Geology discusses mineral analysis with 4-H members in 1962.  (PG 4-1-32j)

Through the years the objective of 4-H, nationally and internationally, has remained the same; development of youth as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens. This is demonstrated, for example, through the leadership opportunities offered through statewide and national gatherings called the 4-H Congress.   

Idaho 4-H delegates to the national 4-H Congress meet with Idaho Congresswoman Gracie Pfost in 1954.(PG 4-01-77d)


vegan: if you rlly care about the planet, don’t conform to the mass murder of animals 😷

me: actually the entire existence of the human race is rapidly consuming earth’s precious resources by releasing dangerous amounts of CO2 emissions from raising livestock and burning fossil fuels. Plus we’re adding to the growth of deforestation by building new homes to house our overpopulated society so how about we all stop breathing

He didn’t have a lot of hobbies (or interests, even) and he was very secretive (and angry/defensive when pryed, even resorting to lying), having no friends or even real acquaintances. Dahmer’s life consisted of indulging and maintaining the means to his obsession and virtually nothing else once the second murder took place. However, there are some interesting, less known things surrounding who he was as a person:

•He liked to people-watch at the local mall, even when he wasn’t scoping for victims (sometimes he just happened upon them when he wasn’t even looking for one)

•Some things not really talked about that were found in his apartment were acne cream, a shaving kit, a contact lens cleaning kit, and a pair of men’s black nylon shorts.

•Dahmer preferred hairless (body hair) men and usually shaved his own chest, etc. He was also really into biceps and chest muscles.

•As a kid, he once submitted a science fair project in school on moulds and fungi.

•He went through small, mild “satanic” phases, dabbling in the occult. It was during one of these times, he stole a vial of blood from his phlebotomy job (that he didn’t care for) and attempted to drink it (and did not like it.) Some of his shrine ideas derived from the altar that he initially set up for rituals based on the occult.

•The day that Lionel came home to discover Jeff living alone at the family home, there were other teenagers there, sleeping and hungover from the previous night, in which they had used a Ouija board and Dahmer had drawn a pentagram on the coffee table. The girl he ditched at prom was there.

•He really liked guns and was knowledgeable about different types. Shooting was a hobby he kept up after his exit from the military.

•He liked taking walks solo while stationed in Germany, watching the boars roam the hills.

•He enjoyed cop shows, NYPD Blue was one of his favorites. He hated Geraldo Rivera, but he still watched his show in the mornings.

•He listened to metal and classic rock, but while he was in prison, he said sometimes hearing music that reminded him of the gay night clubs (presumably pop or dance from the 80’s) made him nostalgic and upset.

• According to Lionel, Jeff really liked weight lifting for almost a whole year in high school, he picked it up almost immediately, and it was one of the few things that kept his interest for that long. Upon his arrest, supplements and vitamins were found in his apartment.

•He loved horror movies and science fiction including Star Wars, the Exorcist, and Blade Runner, and Hellbound. Most of the films found in his apartment were porn.

•He enjoyed drag shows and strips clubs, these are the primary reason he would visit the Chicago area, aside from the bath houses he held memberships at there, but he wasn’t attracted to men dressed in drag.

•He liked helping his father raise and tend to livestock as a child.

•He was never much into reading or writing. In school, he only read assigned books and Alfred Hitchcock’s Horror for Children. In his apartment were four books on fish, a King James Version of the Bible, a few creation science books, a numerology book, and a learning kit for Latin.

•He failed all of his college courses except Administrative Science, in which he was “mediocre” in, and Riflery, which he passed with a B-.

•Dahmer not only sought the death penalty, but he believed in it. He stated that if it was wrong, it wouldn’t be in the Bible.

•He also thought that his suicide would be justified, saying there wasn’t much more he could do wrong.

anonymous asked:

About that "vegans have never visited a farm/grown up on one, so they can't be taken seriously; they just need to see an actual farm to fix their naïveté" comment--I don't understand how someone could think this. And this completely erases vegans who WERE raised on farms, who had family who raised livestock, who personally hunted/fished, and came to the realization that it was all morally wrong for them to do so. HELLO! I'm one of those people. (God, carnists--)

Everyone has this idea that every vegan is an inner-city liberal, but that just isn’t the case. There are some prominent ex-farmers and hunters in the animal rights community, and I know several vegans who grew up in and around animal agriculture. Vegans are such a diverse group, the only real common pattern that emerges when talking with them is that they all found out the truth somehow and changes their lifestyles accordingly. Growing up around it can definitely help you to realise how cruel it is, so it’s only rational that many vegans would be people who have seen it for themselves in some respect.

alex-jordan-brimmer replied to your post: someone will eat that cow anyway. thats what…

I mean, it is pretty weird to care for an animal you’re going to eat.

idt so at all! livestock are a big investment, and in working with them every day you naturally develop a relationship with them, that’s just how animal husbandry works. we have a small farm so we know all of our animals and their personalities and yeah, they’re for eating, but that doesn’t mean you don’t care about them, you want them to be healthy and happy and safe. and, tbh, there’s a lot of difference between a two day old calf and a three year old steer

I Like Her- Jesus (Paul Monroe)


Hey. Could you do a Jesus x reader where the reader is from Rick’s group and they’re in Alexandria and it’s the part where they’re gathered round the table and Jesus is explaining about his people and stuff and then the reader walks in all sleepily with Judith and is like “what the hell is going on” and asks Rick to take his child and maybe makes a joke about “if you’re finished banging Michonne” or something and she’s just funny and cute and stuff and Jesus takes a liking to her?

I didn’t use the exact phrase “If you’re finished banging Michonne” but it was along those lines :)

The group sat around a table, some stood and some like Daryl wandered uncomfortable with the new arrival. Jesus sat at the head of the table, running his fingers in his beard and looking at all the people staring back at him.

Jesus answered Rick’s question, “One guard can’t cover two exits, with third floor windows. Knots untie and lock get picked.

Michonne shuffled in her seat as she listened to him. Carl watched intently and tried hard not to scratch his bad eye under the patch. It was healing well but it was so itchy for him. Daryl walks behind Jesus’ chair and eyes him up like he was prey or something.

“I checked out your arsenal, you’re well equipped. I haven’t seen anything like that in a long time.” He continued. “But your provisions are low, very low for the amount of people you have. 54?”

“More than that.” Maggie spoke up sitting comfortably next to Glenn who had his gun in his hand, wanting to protect his wife and unborn baby as much as he could.

You walked in quietly as Jesus looked away from Rick to Maggie. He looked at her kind of offending for a second, “Well, I appreciate the cookie. My compliments to the chef.”

“She ain’t here.” Daryl said gruffly, crossing his arms over his chest. You look around to see Carol missing. Daryl looked at the man you didn’t know like he wanted to kill him.

“Look, we got off to a bad start.” He said shuffling to talk to him. “But we’re on the same side. The living side.” He looked around everyone and caught sight of you. Your hair was crazy and your eyes red with sleep, you had a baby in your arms that was being quiet and very well behaved.

“You and Rick had every reason to leave me out there, you didn’t.” He looked back to Daryl, “I’m from a place that’s a lot like this, and part of my job is searching out other groups to trade with.” He looked around at everyone again.

“That’s why I took your truck. My community needs things, and both of you look like trouble.” He looked at his lap for a second before continuing. “I was wrong, you’re good people. And this is a good place. I think our communities may be in a place to help each other.”

“Do you have food?” Glenn asked, directly opposite from him at the table.

“We’ve started to raise livestock, we scavenge, and we grow. Everything from tomatoes.”

“Tell me why we should believe you.” Rick sighed. He looked so done and tired.

“I’ll show you, if we take a car we could get there in a day. And you could all see for yourselves who we are and what we have to offer.” He looked around at everyone sincerely again.

“Wait.” You spoke up. “You’re looking for more settlements? You mean you’re already trading with other groups?”

Jesus sat back in his chair and had a cheeky smile on his face. “Your world is about to get a whole lot bigger.”

With that bomb shell everyone started to disperse and talk to themselves. Rick walked over to you and smiled at Judith who held out her arms to him. “Want me to take her?”

“If you’re done scaring Carl for life after banging michonne?” You smirk and the only person in the room to laugh was the man with long hair and a beard at the end of the table.

“I like her. She makes fun out of you and her too.” Jesus said clapping his hands softly with a large smile.


anonymous asked:

hey! i just saw your post tagged "animal welfare" "not animal rights"....i don't think i fully understand the difference between the two. why do you support animal welfare but not animal rights? thanks for any information!

What a wonderful question!! This is a very complicated issue, that can sound like picking hairs for people who aren’t intimately familiar with the animal care industry. 

For the sake of simplicity, I’ll use one example for each side of the argument. AZA will represent the side of animal welfare, and PETA will represent the side of animal rights, because both are very visible members of each ideology. I will also try to tag anything that is my personal interpretation, and keep most of this discussion balanced.

To start off, try to imagine all human interaction with animals on a scale from 0 to 10. At the 10 end, we have no regard for animal health or care, hurting and killing animals with complete disregard. At the 0 end, we have no interaction with animals, not killing them or even using byproducts. If the 0 end sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the ideal of most vegans. I’ll try to use this as a reference when describing where each group lies. 

Another thing I want to point out is that both groups have a common interest, which is treating animals fairly and humanely, and trying to achieve the most optimum standard of living for each.

Animal rights groups like PETA look to aim for that “0” end of the scale. The ultimate goal of animal rights groups is a complete dissolution of any industry that interacts with animals, from rodeos, and circuses, to zoos, farms, and even pets. From the Animal Welfare Council’s website:

Animal Rights is a philosophical view that animals have rights similar or the same as humans. True animal rights proponents believe that humans do not have the right to use animals at all. Animal rights proponents wish to ban all use of animals by humans.

Animal rights proponents support laws and regulations that would prohibit rodeos, horse racing, circuses, hunting, life-saving medical research using animals, raising of livestock for food, petting zoos, marine parks , breeding of purebred pets and any use of animals for industry, entertainment, sport or recreation.

Now, again, I totally understand why people support animal rights groups. It is true that animals can and do get abused for the profit of humans, and some of the treatment they get would never be allowed on another human. This is the linchpin of the Animal Rights argument. Animals should have the same rights as humans and treated accordingly. Now, let’s look at Animal Welfare.

Groups that focus on Animal Welfare, such as AZA, define welfare thusly:

Animal Welfare refers to an animal’s collective physical, mental, and emotional states over a period of time, and is measured on a continuum from good to poor. 

Explanation: An animal typically experiences good welfare when healthy, comfortable, well-nourished, safe, able to develop and express species-typical relationships, behaviors, and cognitive abilities, and not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, or distress. Because physical, mental, and emotional states may be dependent on one another and can vary from day to day, it is important to consider these states in combination with one another over time to provide an assessment of an animal’s overall welfare status. 

To use my straight line measurement from above, Animal Welfare falls closer to the “5” area of the spectrum. Animal Welfare groups do not make a blanket statement that all human interaction with animals is bad, but they do maintain standards to ensure that animals are not being abused or taken advantage of for the profit of a human. Welfare groups like AZA support zoos and animal research, among other things, but only in that they are held to high standards created to ensure optimal animal welfare

They also use measurements that are as scientific as possible to assess the status of an animal. This can be done by measuring hormones like cortisol, testosterone, and dopamine through blood tests, by observing and comparing animal behavior, monitoring eating amounts and patterns, or even the presence of breeding activity and successful childrearing behavior. More unscientific methods depend on the regular keepers of the animals, and when they notice that something feels ‘off’ in an animal’s routine. 

I hope that comes off as non-biased as I meant it to. I do understand the heart of most people behind the Animal Rights groups. And it really is hard to say no when you’re asked if you’re against the mistreatment of animals.

(Here begins my opinion) That being said, I truly believe that Animal Rights does more harm than good. Very regularly, groups like PETA and the Animal Liberation Front use violence, threats, and other terroristic tactics to achieve their ends (thejunglenook can back me up on this.). If you do research on PETA, you will find that many of the animals they “rescue” from shelters are killed. They prefer animals to be dead than be in human care. 

I support animal welfare for two main reasons. One, we cannot be naive and think that we can unentwine our human lives with those of the animals we share the world with. Two, I believe that keeping animals in captivity is helpful both for the science we can learn from keeping them (normal ranges of size, food, hormone ranges, gestations, etc), and for their educational use. I and others have written extensively about the impact of seeing animals in person to help the general public gain a connection to an animal they would otherwise care little about.

I have also found that many times, decisions made by animal rights groups are selfish, human decisions. These are decisions that feel good for us to make, like “let the animal be free in the wild!” or “don’t let these poor animals get poked and prodded, look how sad they are”. A focus on animal welfare means that we look past that. Animals may not be released because there is no wild for them to return to, because the animal has been raised by humans and is unequipped to handle the wild, or because it is part of an essential breeding program. Seeing an animal be handled by vets, or even euthanized, is truly for the benefit of the animal. Just like you don’t like going to the doctor, animals don’t, either, but it is for their own good. Short term pain for long term benefit. And euthanasia is used when an animal’s quality of life has dropped below welfare standards, and there is no other option except to let the animal die a drawn-out death.

So when I post #animal welfare #not animal rights, that’s what I mean. I support the scientific support of the good health of the animal, not what my gut tells me “feels good”.

Bagginshield Week

For @bagginshieldsource’s Bagginshield Week

Day 7: Free day!! Anything you want. (Set during the quest, pre-relationship)

While most of the company settled into makeshift beds for the night, Bilbo found himself oddly restless. He ambled over towards the collection of ponies, something which was quickly growing into a nightly routine. During the day, he stuffed his pockets with any fallen fruit he could find, when they were lucky enough to be given breaks. It was hard to ration such meager pickings amongst thirteen ponies, so he had to alternate who was fed each night. (Bilbo absolutely refused to go anywhere near Gandalf’s horse - the ponies were smaller by comparison, yet still dauntingly huge to Bilbo’s practical sensibilities. That horse was just - just monstrously ginormous! …But every so often, he would roll an apple its way - from a safe distance. He did not want to anger the beast, after all.)

Tonight he had three bruised, withering apples. He first gave one to his own steed, Myrtle, who Bilbo was afraid had grown rather spoiled. She had not been given anything special for a few days now, and had taken to jostling her rider in his seat and moving restlessly any time he tried to mount or dismount.

“Now enough of that,” Bilbo murmured as he stroked the pony’s broad face. “You get your turn, just like everyone else, Myrtle.”

Next he moved onto Thorin’s pony, whom he had named Bungo. The creature had a funny shaggy coat, which ignited the hobbit’s allergies terribly if he ever touched it. “Now remember our deal,” Bilbo whispered as he offered the largest fruit to the animal’s large, searching lips. “I give you an apple, and you make Thorin take that giant stick out of his arse.”

The pony snorted as it took a huge bite of the apple, wetting Bilbo’s whole hand with the effort. The hobbit sighed, shaking his head. “Who am I kidding?” he muttered. “Not even the Valar could do such a feat!”

“What are you doing, Halfling?”

Bilbo jumped at the sudden voice, hand clamping down on the soggy remains of the fruit as he spun around.

“I, ah,” he stammered, staring up at none other than Thorin Oakenshield, rightful King under the Mountain - and rightful pain in the arse. Bungo’s large head nudged at his back, blunt teeth nipping at his enclosed fingers. “Oh, there’s no point in hiding it!” he muttered, turning back to the remarkably hobbit-ish creature. “I am giving the ponies some treats,” he admitted.

Keep reading

Monster Manual Challenge - B - Bulette

The Landshark of Tatter Banner

The town Tatter Banner is a little halfling homestead out west, where quaint folk raise quaint livestock.

Lately they’ve been terrorized by a bulette who’s moved her territory into theirs and found her liking of halfling meat! And thinks the smaller farm animals make good midnight snacks.

Grumpy and ravenous, she stalks the poor town!